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UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH – EQUINE GUELPH CELEBRATE NEW WAR HORSE PARTNERSHIP CONTRIBUTING TO CONTINUED EDUCATION & WELFARE OF THE HORSE

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 12, 2012 13:40

UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH – EQUINE GUELPH

CELEBRATE NEW WAR HORSE PARTNERSHIP

CONTRIBUTING TO CONTINUED EDUCATION & WELFARE OF THE HORSE

Toronto, Ontario-

 

Over 160 horse enthusiasts assembled for the highly acclaimed production of War Horse and a special Equine Guelph Gala evening at the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto on March 8th 2012.  Gala attendees were delighted to hang up the ‘wellies’ and gather for an enchanting evening thrown in support of Equine Guelph’s new horse welfare education programs. 

 

Partnership is the best descriptor for the special fund raising evening that benefitted the Equine Guelph-Ontario Equestrian Foundation ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund.    "The War Horse Toronto production brings back into the spotlight the welfare issues that faced millions of horses in the First World War," says David Mirvish, producer, Mirvish Productions and Chancellor of the University of Guelph.  "Recognizing the ongoing need for equine welfare awareness and education, we are pleased to partner with Equine Guelph and the Ontario Equestrian Federation to create the 'Equine Guelph-OEF War Horse Welfare Education Fund' in honour of these brave horses and to develop courses that teach horse care and welfare to future champions of the horse.  Through education, we hope to help Equine Guelph in their admirable quest of 'helping horses for life.’” The incredible turn out of horse industry supporters at Equine Guelph’s pre-show meet-and-greet was a testament to the shared sentiment.

 

The wine was divine and the appetizers appealing, but it was the puppets that brought the passion with a spellbinding show.  The crowd of horse lovers did not need any convincing of how near and dear the bond between horse and human can be.  Not a dry eye could be found as the audience rode along on the journey of “Joey”, the beloved War Horse.  To top it off, after the production, gala attendees were treated to an exclusive introduction to the life-like puppets and their marvelous, detailed craftsmanship.  Breyer (through Kroeger Distributing in Canada) donated 24 Traditional limited edition 'Joey' model/War Horse book box sets, signed by David Mirvish, as a fundraiser for Equine Guelph’s gala evening.   Many attendees arrived early for the opportunity to trot off with one of these very special mementos.

 

For future performances, War Horse Toronto will generously donate $10 to the Equine Guelph-OEF ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund for each War Horse ticket purchased by OEF members for performances between February 10 – May 6, 2012. And, as a special thank you, at the performance, OEF members will receive a complimentary CD of the music of War Horse (one per order). Call 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333 to order tickets and provide this special benefit code – WHFUND.  Dianne Graham, executive director of the Ontario Equestrian Federation comments, "I thought that the puppets were magical and found the original stage production to be absolutely mesmerizing. I am certain that "War Horse" will have a very successful engagement!"  She adds, "The Ontario Equestrian Federation in partnership with Equine Guelph is proud to be part of a collaboration which which will ultimately benefit the welfare of all horses."   Equine media in attendance were awe-struck and nearly speechless with initial reactions:  “Wow, terrific!”, “Not what I expected”, and “How Lifelike.” 

 

Funds raised are helping Equine Guelph develop new courses, teaching the highest degree of skills in horse care and welfare.  This will help ensure horses receive the best possible care and will contribute to the reduction of welfare issues.  “In an industry where well-intentioned old wives tales are often passed down rather than scientific knowledge, the horse is often the victim of mistreatment, says Equine Guelph Director, Gayle Ecker.  Education in horse welfare will result in benefits including:  well-informed caregivers, healthier horses, lower vet bills and fewer unwanted horses.”

Ecker continues, “Tonight, Equine Guelph is pleased to announce that we are able to offer the first Equine Welfare Certificate online program in Canada. The support of the industry has enabled us to open this opportunity for students starting in May of this year, with the first offering of the new Equine Welfare course in September of this year.  We will be developing further courses that will become available online throughout the year.”

 

Support Equine Welfare through Education and experience War Horse at the Princess of Wales Theatre.  Visit www.EquineGuelph.ca for more information and to learn about another special evening Equine Guelph will be hosting at War Horse Toronto on May 10, 2012.  

 

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entertainment | general | horse art | memorial

"Vision of a Horse" by Casa Terra

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   March 5, 2012 13:52

"Vision of a Horse"

by Casa Terra

 

The Casa Terra Canvas is a mixed media project combining tempera paint and collage to create a stunning horses head. 

The colors and forms within the horse's head are meant to represent a landscape reflecting the element Casa Terra is named after. 

The artwork was achieved by "painting" the tempera with forks, which created quite a stir in the studio! 

The canvas is truly a unique masterpiece created by using unconventional tools with conventional materials.

Casa Terra is a class of 4-6 year old students at the Maria Montessori School, Saskatoon, Sk.

HAVE YOU HEARD???

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 24, 2012 07:14

Did I hear you SHOUT YES????


Just "like" @HorseOwnerToday and @FunkyGeeGees for an entry, "share" with your friends for 10 entries and then let us know, email us at bonnie.n@horseownertoday.com. Winner will be drawn when @Funky GeeGees and @HorseOwnerToday have 1000 Fb likes.


Biosecurity Tool – Does Your Barn get the Green Light?

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 14, 2012 18:37

 

With all the breaking news on the importance of biosecurity – Isn’t it time to bone up on preventative measures your barn could be taking?   Calculate your horse farm’s risks with Equine Guelph’s Biosecurity Risk Calculator, a tool designed for horse owners to generate a report that grades them on their biosecurity management practices on their farms.  See if you score a green, amber or red light.

Live and online at Biosecurity Calculator, the interactive tool is an educational resource of Equine Guelph (University of Guelph) developed in collaboration with Colorado State University and sponsored by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Foundation and Vétoquinol Canada Inc.

 

"Every horse owner should think about a biosecurity management plan,” says Karen Ann Paradis, Equine Product Manager of Vétoquinol. “Having a solid understanding of equine health, infectious disease and disease control is paramount in reducing biosecurity risk in a high-risk industry."

 

After taking the 10 minute, 42 question Biosecurity Calculator quiz - turn those amber scores green by increasing your knowledge with Equine Guelph’s biosecurity workshops this March and 2 week e-Session April 16 - 29.    The combined feedback from the Biosecurity Calculator and Equine Guelph’s upcoming programs will provide you with the best practices for decreasing risk of infectious disease in your horse(s).  

 

To learn more about Equine Guelph’s biocesurity programs visit:    www.EquineGuelph.ca/biosecurity.php

Consistency is Key – Says Racing Surfaces Internationally Acclaimed Publication

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   February 14, 2012 18:11

 

 

 

 

A number of factors affect the performance of a racing or training surface according to the well received 34-page “Racing Surfaces White Paper” published in June this year.   This international publication is a survey of current understanding on ways to enhance track safety, and is co-authored by an esteemed panel including: Michael “Mick” Peterson, Ph.D., University of Maine, United States; Lars Roepstorff, DVM, PhD, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden; Jeffrey J. Thomason, PhD, University of Guelph, Canada; Christie Mahaffey, MPhil, University of Maine, United States; C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, Colorado State University, United States. 

 

Though there is still much research to be done since the forming of the racing surfaces committee at the inaugural Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit in 2006, this publication will benefit trainers, track superintendants and any person in charge of riding surfaces.  Details of proper maintenance of surfaces and training guidelines can be found, based on the knowledge gained from the researcher’s findings thus far.  The download is available at grayson-jockeyclub.org/resources/White_Paper_final.pdf

 

Climate and maintenance are two of many factors analyzed by the researchers looking for the best possible training surface conditions to enhance safety for the horse and rider. The Racing Surfaces White Paper publication will have future applications in helping in the design of tracks, in terms of banking and cushioning properties in track surfaces not only in racing but in training as well.  U of G, Co-author Dr. Jeff Thomason notes, “Horse industry leaders, interested in creating an optimum surface to help minimize injuries in the limbs of horses, will be interested in following this research”.

 

Thomason is pleased to be a part of this White Paper publication. It is the most comprehensive scientific body of research on race tracks to date; yet it is just scratching the surface.  New questions have been cultivated requiring further investigation.  Thomason will continue to be involved with this collaborative research with targeted studies on the effect of racetrack characteristics on the horse-hoof-track interaction.

 

With so many variables in play the next steps in research are always, short very specific experiments with a narrow focus (e.g., the effect of different height toe grabs or different shoes on the same surface).  “It is only by meticulously piecing together the answers of each precise question that you begin to see the big picture” says Thomason.  Studying the influences of forces and loads and the mechanics of loading on the hoof itself is an integral part of Thomason’s research.  One method used to measure these forces is by gluing lightweight sensors to a horse’s hooves before it goes out to the training track.  These sensors have been used to record two kinds of data: strain and shock. 

 

With so many track surface options available (including synthetic, dirt or turf), Thomason is often asked what the best option is.  The preponderance of evidence at the moment suggests the consistency of the surface is more important than the material it is made of.  A well-maintained all-weather track is desirable.  The track should be consistent around its circumference.  Three unknown topics requiring further research are:  1) the range of hardness or softness that is not dangerous to the horse.  2) How well does water need to run off a track?    3) Do track surfaces need to have different properties for the impact as opposed to the sliding?  Research proves good maintenance is an extremely important component for providing consistency and improving safety.  Of course, the track has to be well constructed to start with.  Regular maintenance includes light harrowing between races to level the hoof prints left in the ground.  Deeper harrowing, as required, provides a cushion at the top of the surface.  One superintendent reported a 30 - 40% reduction in catastrophic fractures at his track after attending a meeting of superintendents in North America and adopting the consistency maintenance program outlined in the White Paper. 

Climate also plays a vital and complicated role in determining maintenance.  Thomason reminisces, “Where I grew up, in England, the climate consisted of ample rain and you heard about the going being sloppy, firm or good.  This would be a measure of how slippery or firm the track was.”  Conversely California has problems with the surface becoming too dry. Artificial surfaces were designed to give a surface that was consistent.  This has not been achieved yet.  Even artificial surfaces change their properties throughout the day when the sun comes out. In the morning the surface becomes softer and records indicate the racing times slow down throughout the day showing a very local effect of sunny climate on the track. 

 

Thomason spends much of his time understanding the complexity of how the hoof interacts with the ground from absorbing the shock of impact to the abrasion of grinding into the surface and how the weight of the horse is distributed.  One excerpt of the Whitepaper states:  As the soil or top layer of the turf compacts, it becomes stiffer and more resistant to further compaction, bringing the hoof to a stop (Thomason and Peterson 2008). Once the motion of the hoof has been slowed or has stopped, the weight of the horse is dynamically transferred to the hoof and then to the harder surface material beneath the hoof. This dynamic transfer of the weight of the horse to the hoof is the source of the acceleration, resulting in peak loads which may approach 2.5 times the bodyweight of the horse.

 

The hardness of the track influences how quickly the foot is decelerated and then the stiffness of the track when the load is being applied. This rate of deceleration controls the strain which is transferred to the leg and results in higher peak loads for stiffer surfaces. Repeated loading to the bone can cause micro fractures and the catastrophic fractures (Radin et al. 1972).  Horses and their owners stand to benefit from this research when new information is discovered regarding how to reduce the factors causing injuries on limbs.

 

Jeff Thomason’s research has been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Equine Guelph and Grayson Jockey Club. 

 

 

American Horse Council's 2012 Immigration Reform Outlook

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   January 21, 2012 19:58

 

Despite substantial efforts to recruit and train U.S. workers, horse farms, ranches, horse shows, trainers and others must rely on foreign workers and use both the H-2B and H-2A temporary foreign worker programs to meet their labor needs.  For this reason immigration polices have a profound impact on the horse industry.

 

In 2011 numerous bills were introduced in the 112th Congress concerning immigration, most enforcement oriented.  Most notably, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Lamar Smith (R-TX) introduced the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.2885), which would require all employers to use the federal E-verify system to make sure their workers are authorized to work.   The House Judiciary Committee held hearings on this bill and reported it out of committee on September 21.

 

“In the Summer and Fall we saw a lot of action in Congress on immigration.  Committees in both the House and Senate held numerous hearings and the House Judiciary Committee approved a mandatory E-verify bill. Since then however, there has been little movement on the issue because even Members of Congress who are in favor of beefing up enforcement and passing mandatory E-verify can’t agree on the best way to proceed,” said AHC Legislative Director Ben Pendergrass.

 

In response to concerns that mandatory E-verify would cripple the U.S. agricultural industry several bills, like the American Specialty Agriculture Act (H.R.2847) and the Legal Agricultural Workforce Act (H.R.2895), were introduced.  These bills would create new, less burdensome temporary foreign agricultural worker programs to replace the current H-2A program. However, no consensus emerged on which of the many proposals on the table would  best accommodate the needs of agriculture.

 

 “It is absolutely vital for the horse industry to have access to functioning, efficient, and cost effective foreign temporary worker programs to meet its labor needs and the horse industry can not support any bill unless it provides for those needs,” said AHC President Jay Hickey. “We would like Congress to reform our system in a comprehensive way.  However, as we enter another election year it is unlikely Congress will have much of a desire to deal with a hot-button issue like immigration.”

 

“It is likely more immigration bills will be introduced in 2012 and there maybe action taken on specific issues like the H-2B wage rule, but right now it doesn’t look like Congress will take action on major legislation like mandatory E-verify,” said Pendergrass.    

 

Link to full article on AHC website

 

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As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. Organized in 1969, the AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day.                       

The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen's associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.

War Horse Promotes Horse Welfare Fund

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 17, 2011 11:50

 

The spectacular Mirvish theatre production, ‘War Horse’ will warm your heart in two ways – once when you watch the performance and again when your ticket purchase contributes to the new Equine Guelph-Ontario Equestrian Federation ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund. 

 

Through the use of life-size and life-like handspring puppets, ‘War Horse’ transports the audience back to WWI – a time when horses were integral to progress but welfare conditions were often challenging. This heartfelt stage adaptation examines the horse-human bond and draws the audience in for an evening where the subtle becomes pronounced and awe is often inspired by the ability to communicate without words. 

 

Recognizing the ongoing need for equine welfare awareness, Mirvish Productions has partnered with Equine Guelph and will generously donate $10 to the Equine Guelph-OEF ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund for each War Horse ticket purchased by OEF members for performances between February 10 – May 6, 2012. And, as a special thank you, at the performance, OEF members will receive a complimentary CD (one per order) of the music of War Horse. Call 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333 to order tickets and provide this special benefit code – WHFUND. 

 

In addition, Equine Guelph will be hosting a special gala fundraising evening on March 8th, 2012 for avid horse enthusiasts.   Be part of this magical evening at the Princess of Wales theatre in Toronto!  Enjoy premium seats in the orchestra section, pre-show reception and meet the 'puppets' on a backstage tour after production.  There are a limited number of tickets and cost is $200. Go to http://uofg.convio.net/warhorse or call 1-888-266-3108 to order today.

 

With over 16 intensive online equine courses dedicated to horse owners and caregivers, Equine Guelph at the University of Guelph understands the need for horse welfare education.  In an industry where well-intentioned old wives tales are often passed down rather than scientific knowledge, the horse is often the victim of mistreatment.  Education in horse welfare will result in the following benefits:  well-informed caregivers, healthier horses, lower vet bills and fewer unwanted horses.

 

Support Equine Welfare through Education and enjoy the show!  Visit www.EquineGuelph.ca for more information.

              

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Attached image

Image Caption:   The upcoming ‘War Horse’ theatrical production will support the new

Equine Guelph-OEF ‘War Horse’ Welfare Education Fund (Photo © Simon Annand)

 

Note: image also available as eps format – please contact

 

Media Contact:

Jackie Bellamy, Communications

Equine Guelph

Guelph, ON   N1G 2W1

519.824.4120 ext. 54230 

jbellamy@uoguelph.ca

 

thank you

Susan

 

Susan Raymond, PhD.

Communications & Programs Officer

Equine Guelph, University of Guelph

50 McGilvray St, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1

Tel: (519) 824-4120, ext. 54230

Fax: (519) 767-1081

www.EquineGuelph.ca

www.EquiMania.ca

www.EquineScienceCertificate.com

 

YOUTH EDUCATION PARTNER OF THE Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Kentucky 2010

 

"Lest We Forget"

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   November 5, 2011 14:00

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memorial